National News at a Glance
Posted October 31, 2018 9:35 p.m. EDT
Robert Bowers Indicted on 44 Counts After Synagogue Shooting
A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted a man who authorities say killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue while spewing anti-Semitic slurs on 44 counts, including hate crimes. The indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in western Pennsylvania, charges Robert Bowers, 46, with 11 counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious freedom resulting in death, and 11 counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. The maximum penalty Bowers could receive if convicted is death, or life without parole plus 535 additional years of imprisonment.
Back-to-Back Funerals. Mourners 50 Deep. Pittsburgh Grieves, 11 Times Over
The public rituals of grief in Pittsburgh kept accumulating Wednesday with more funerals, more burials and more communal gatherings for the 11 killed in the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue. At Beth Shalom synagogue, people gathered early Wednesday to mourn Joyce Fienberg, 75, a well-loved researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. A little more than an hour later, visitation had begun for Irving Younger, 69, at Rodef Shalom Temple, the second service there in two days. Emily Harris, 69, was in Younger’s graduating class in high school. “He was a good guy, a solid guy: what we call a mensch,” she said.
Inquiry Into Ryan Zinke Land Deal Is Said to Escalate
The Interior Department’s top watchdog has referred an investigation into a possible conflict of interest by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Justice Department, according to a person familiar with the matter, a sign that the federal government is considering a criminal investigation of Zinke’s actions. Zinke is the subject of at least 18 known federal investigations into allegations of ethical misconduct or other policy violations. It is not known which investigation was referred to the Justice Department. However, the source said it was highly likely it was an investigation into a Montana land deal involving Zinke and the chairman of the energy giant Halliburton.
Bomb Suspect Planned His Campaign for More Than Three Months, Court Papers Say
The man arrested in Florida last week in connection with the rash of crude pipe bombs sent to outspoken critics of President Donald Trump had planned his campaign for at least three months, and his laptop and cellphone are providing investigators with fresh evidence, new court papers say. Calling the bomb spree “a domestic terrorist attack,” prosecutors gave a glimpse into its origins, describing in the court papers how the laptop of the suspect, Cesar A. Sayoc Jr., had been used, as early as July, to draft a list of targets and scour the internet for information on them.
Trump Attacks Ryan, Who Scoffed at Birthright Citizenship Plan
President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at the top Republican in the House just six days before the midterm elections, elevating a fight within his own party over the president’s desire to end birthright citizenship. Paul Ryan, the retiring House speaker, said Tuesday that the president “obviously” cannot do away with birthright citizenship with an executive order. "Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!”
New York Bishop Is Accused of Sexual Abuse
An auxiliary Catholic bishop in New York, John Jenik, has been accused of sexual abuse and removed from his public ministry, Catholic officials said. “Although the alleged incidents occurred decades ago, the Lay Review Board has concluded that the evidence is sufficient to find the allegation credible and substantiated,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said in a statement Wednesday. The allegation involves an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy in the 1980s, according to the accuser and his lawyer. Jenik, 74, denied the allegation, which will be investigated by the Vatican.
Studies Warn Against Minimally Invasive Surgery for Cervical Cancer
Two new studies revealed bad news about minimally invasive surgery for cervical cancer, a widely used procedure performed through small slits in the abdomen instead of a big incision. Compared to the older, open abdominal operation, the minimally invasive approach was more likely to result in recurrence of the cancer and death, researchers found. The results affect a relatively small number of women in the U.S., with about 13,000 cases a year and 4,000 deaths. But worldwide, cervical cancer is the fourth-most common malignancy and cause of cancer death in women, with 570,000 cases a year and 270,000 deaths.